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Ancient Literature (7)

Aristophanes

ACHARNAI (Ancient demos) ACHARNES

The Acharnians

This is the first of the series of three Comedies--The Acharnians, Peace and Lysistrata--produced at intervals of years, the sixth, tenth and twenty-first of the Peloponnesian War, and impressing on the Athenian people the miseries and disasters due to it and to the scoundrels who by their selfish and reckless policy had provoked it, the consequent ruin of industry and, above all, agriculture, and the urgency of asking Peace. In date it is the earliest play brought out by the author in his own name and his first work of serious importance. It was acted at the Lenaean Festival, in January, 426 B.C., and gained the first prize, Cratinus being second.
  Its diatribes against the War and fierce criticism of the general policy of the War party so enraged Cleon that, as already mentioned, he endeavoured to ruin the author, who in The Knights retorted by a direct and savage personal attack on the leader of the democracy.
  The plot is of the simplest. Dicaeopolis, an Athenian citizen, but a native of Acharnae, one of the agricultural demes and one which had especially suffered in the Lacedaemonian invasions, sick and tired of the ill-success and miseries of the War, makes up his mind, if he fails to induce the people to adopt his policy of peace at any price, to conclude a private and particular peace of his own to cover himself, his family, and his estate. The Athenians, momentarily elated by victory and over-persuaded by the demagogues of the day--Cleon and his henchmen, refuse to hear of such a thing as coming to terms. Accordingly Dicaeopolis dispatches an envoy to Sparta on his own account, who comes back presently with a selection of specimen treaties in his pocket. The old man tastes and tries, special terms are arranged, and the play concludes with a riotous and uproarious rustic feast in honour of the blessings of Peace and Plenty.
  Incidentally excellent fun is poked at Euripides and his dramatic methods, which supply matter for so much witty badinage in several others of our author's pieces.
  Other specially comic incidents are: the scene where the two young daughters of the famished Megarian are sold in the market at Athens as suck[l]ing-pigs--a scene in which the convenient similarity of the Greek words signifying a pig and the `pudendum muliebre' respectively is utilized in a whole string of ingenious and suggestive `double entendres' and ludicrous jokes; another where the Informer, or Market-Spy, is packed up in a crate as crockery and carried off home by the Boeotian buyer.
  The drama takes its title from the Chorus, composed of old men of Acharnae.


Euripides

ELEFSIS (Ancient city) ATTICA, WEST

The Suppliants

Editor’s Information:
The plot of "The Suppliants", the tragedy written by Euripides, of which the e-text(s) can be found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings, is taking place in Eleusis.


MARATHON (Ancient demos) ATTICA, EAST

The Heracleidae

Editor’s Information:
The plot of "The Heracleidae", the tragedy written by Euripides, of which the e-text(s) is (are) found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings , is taking place in Marathon.


TRIZIN (Ancient city) GREECE

Hippolytus

Editor’s Information:
The plot of "Hippolytus", the tragedy written by Euripides, of which the e-text(s) is (are) found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings, is taking place at Troy.


Grammarians & Philologists

ATHENS (Ancient city) GREECE

Apollodorus

Apollodorus. A Greek grammarian of Athens, was a son of Asclepiades, and a pupil of the grammarian Aristarchus, of Panaetius, and Diogenes the Babylonian. He flourished about the year B. C. 140, a few years after the fall of Corinth. Further particulars are not mentioned about him. We know that one of his historical works (the chronika) came down to the year B. C. 143, and that it was dedicated to Attalus II., surnamed Philadelphus, who died in B. C. 138; but how long Apollodorus lived after the year B. C. 143 is unknown. Apollodorus wrote a great number of works, and on a variety of subjects, which were much used in antiquity, but all of them have perished with the exception of one, and even this one has not come down to us complete. This work bears the title Bibliopheke; it consists of three books, and is by far the best among the extant works of the kind. It contains a well-arranged account of the numerous mythuses of the mythology and the heroic age of Greece. The materials are derived from the poets, especially the eyelic poets, the logograph(ers, and the historians. It begins with the origin of the gods, and goes down to the time of Theseus, when the work suddenly breaks off. The part which is wanting at the end contained the stories of the families of Pelops and Atreus, and probably the whole of the Trojan cycle also. The first portion of the work (i. 1-7) contains the ancient theogonie and cosmogonie mythuses, which are followed by the Hellenic mythuses, and the latter are arranged according to the different tribes of the Greek nation (Phot. Cod. 186). The ancients valued this work very highly, as it formed a running mythological conmmentary to the Greek poets; to us it is of still greater value, as most of the works from which Apollodorus derived his information, as well as several other works which were akin to that of Apollodorus, are now lost. Apollodorus relates his mythical stories in a plain and unadorned style, and gives only that which he found in his sources, without interpolating or perverting the genuine forms of the legends by attempts to explain their meaning. This extreme simplicity of the Bibliotheca, more like a mere catalogue of events, than a history, has led some modern critics to consider the work in its present form either as an abridgement of some greater work of Apollodorus, or as made up out of several of his works. But this opinion is a mere hypothesis without any evidence.
  The first edition of the Bibliotheca of Apollodorus, in which the text is in a very bad condition, was edited by Benedictus Aegius of Spoleto, at Rome, 1555. A somewhat better edition is that of Heidelberg, 1599. After the editions of Tan. Faber (Salmur. 1661), and Th. Gale in his Script. Hist. poet. (Paris, 1675), there followed the critical edition of Ch. G. Heyne, Gottingen, 1782 and 83, of which a second and improved edition appeared in 1803. The best among the subsequent editions is that of Clavier, Paris, 1805, with a commentary and a French translation. The Bibliotheca is also printed in C. and Th. Muller, Fragment. Hist. Graec., Paris, 1841, and in A. Westermann's Mythographi, sive Scriptores Poeticae Histor. Graevi, 1843.
  Among the other works ascribed to Apollodorus which are lost, but of which a considerable number of fragments are still extant, which are contained in Heyne's edition of the Bibliotheca and in C. and Th. Muller's Fragm. Hist. Graec., the following must be noticed here:
1. Peri ton Aphenesin hetairon, i. e. on the Athenian Courtezans.
2. Antigraphe pros ten Aristokleous epistnlen.
3. Tes periodos, komikoi metroi, that is, a Universal Geography in iambie verses, such as was afterwards written by Scymnus of Chios and by Dionysins.
4. Peri Eticharmou, either a commentary or a dissertation on the plays of the comic poet Epicharmus, which consisted of ten books.
5. Etumologiai, or Etymologies, a work which is frequently referred to, though not always under this title, but sometimes apparently under that of the head of a particular article.
6. Peri Deon, in twenty-four books. This work containdi the mythology of the Greeks, as far as the gods themseives were concerned; the Bibliotheca, giving an account of the heroic ages, formed a kind of continuation to it.
7. Peri neon katalogou or peri neon, was an historical and geographical explanation of the catalogue in the second book of the Iliad. It consisted of twelve books, and is frequently cited by Strabo and other ancient writers.
8. Perpi Sophronos, that is, a commentary on the Mimes of Sophron, of which the third book is quoted by Athenaeus (vii. p. 281), and the fourth by the Schol. on Aristoph.
9. Chronika or chronike suntaxis, was a chronicle in iambic verses, comprising the history of 1040 years, from the destruction of Troy (1184) down to his own time, B. C. 143. This work, which was again a sort of continuation of the Bibliotheca, thus completed the history from the origin of the gods and the world down to his own time. Of how many books it consisted is not quite certain. In Stephanus of Byzantium the fourth book is mentioned, but if Syncellus refers to this work, it must have consisted of at least eight books. The loss of this work is one of the severest that we have to lament in the historical literature of antiquity.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Philosophy

AKADIMIA PLATONOS (City quarter) ATHENS

The Academy

The University of Tennessee at Martin.


Sophocles

KOLONOS (Ancient demos) ATHENS

Oedipus at Colonus

Editor’s Information:
The plot of "Oedipus at Colonus", the tragedy written by Sophocles, of which the e-text(s) is (are) found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings , is taking place in Colonus.


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